Taco Stuffed Tomatoes Recipe

Taco Stuffed Tomatoes make a perfect, unfussy end-of-summer meal, when the nights are still hot and good tomatoes are plentiful. This easy low-carb recipe comes together in under half an hour, all in one skillet, using ground beef, zesty taco seasoning, and then loaded up with your favorite toppings and salsas.

Four taco stuffed tomatoes on a white platter with a side of cheese, green onions, and sour cream.

When there are extra tomatoes coming my way, this is the first recipe I run to. It’s a take on Stuffed Peppers, except the tomatoes stay cold and fresh–no baking required. Each one is filled with spiced ground beef, browned onions, a little bit of rice, and the inside of the hollowed-out tomatoes for an easy, economical dinner that everyone loves.

Ingredient notes:

  • Ground beef. Whatever fat content you’re comfortable with. I’d never say no, thank you to making this recipe with ground chicken or turkey, either. You can even make vegetarian tomatoes with your favorite plant-based protein.
  • Rice. Any kind of pre-cooked or leftover rice you have: brown rice, leftover Cilantro Lime Rice, basmati rice–whatever! You can also use quinoa, cooked bulgur wheat, lentils, or farro.
  • Tomato sauce. Regular tomato sauce is fine, unless you want something spicier. Mexican grocery stores sell small, 8-ounce can of spicy tomato sauce/salsa called “El Pato” which are really good. Look for the duck on the label.
  • Taco seasoning. I make my own taco blend to have on hand when the urge for tacos hits unexpectedly, but you can use the little packet from the store, too.
    Taco stuffed tomato ingredients labeled and in various bowls.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

This recipe moves quickly!

  1. Before you start cooking, hollow out the tomatoes. Using a sharp paring knife, trim out the stem. Then cut a 1/4-inch slice off the top of each tomato to expose the seeds and pulp. Next, carefully cut around the inside perimeter of the tomato, to loosen up the seeds and flesh.
  2. Holding the tomato over a bowl, gently scoop out the seeds and extra flesh inside. If there are any large pieces of the fruit that come out, dice them up–some tomatoes are meatier than others! But hold on to the juice, seeds, and hollowed out flesh for cooking the stuffing.
    Four tomatoes being hollowed out.
  3. To make the filling, cook the ground beef and diced onion over high heat in a skillet, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon.
    Taco stuffed tomato meat stuffing in a black skillet.
  4. Once the beef is browned, drain off any extra fat, if you have it. Then add the tomato sauce, cooked rice (or other grain), taco seasoning, and any reserved tomato bits and juice you have from hollowing the tomatoes. Stir together and cook until the mixture thickens a bit. And finally, season everything to taste with some salt and pepper.
  5. Once the beef, rice, and tomato filling is nice and thick, remove it from the heat and let cool a minute or two before stuffing the tomatoes.
  6. To stuff the tomatoes, work one at a time, carefully filling up each tomato with meat and rice. Form a nice mound on top of each one, if you have enough. Serve immediately, with enough of the extra stuff for everyone.
    Eight taco stuffed tomatoes on a baking pan.

Fun topping ideas:

  • Scallions
  • Diced chilies
  • Avocado or guacamole
  • Shredded cheese or crumbled queso fresco
  • Sour cream or Mexican crema
  • Crumbled fritos or chicharrones
  • Corn salsa
    Four taco stuffed tomatoes on a white platter with a side of cheese, green onions, and sour cream.

Recipe tips:

  • Use delicious tomatoes. Only make this recipe with tomatoes that you’d want to eat raw–leave the bland, pithy, store-bought tomatoes out of it. Those smaller, on-the-vine Campari tomatoes might be good candidates.
  • YMMV: Your ‘mater may vary! Depending on the size and shape of the tomatoes you use, you may have to scale the recipe up to accommodate them and make a double batch. Luckily, that’s easy to do and leftovers are always welcome.
  • Make ahead. The filling can be made ahead of time and rewarmed in a skillet or microwave. Stuff the tomatoes right before you plan to eat.

Some super delicious variations:

  • Make them Keto-friendly or even lower low-carb. Use another grain like quinoa or bulgur. Other healthy options include cauliflower rice, sweet potato rice, wild rice, or farro.
  • Switch up the protein. Cook with ground turkey, chicken, chorizo, or a plant-based protein to make them vegetarian stuffed tomatoes.
  • Add green chilies, mushrooms, or caramelized onions to the filling. It’s also a great way to empty out the fridge!
    Four taco stuffed tomatoes on a white platter.

Other recipes that should be on your radar:

Did you enjoy this recipe? Leave a comment and rating below!

Taco stuffed tomatoes on a white platter.

Taco Stuffed Tomatoes Recipe

Taco Stuffed Tomatoes make a perfect, unfussy end-of-summer meal, when the nights are still hot and good tomatoes are plentiful. This easy low-carb recipe comes together in under half an hour, all in one skillet, using ground beef, zesty taco seasoning, and then loaded up with your favorite toppings and salsas.
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Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 194kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion finely chopped
  • 8 large tomatoes
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice
  • 2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning (or 1 packet store-bought)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • shredded cheddar cheese for serving
  • sour cream for serving
  • Sliced scallions for serving

Instructions

  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add ground beef and onion. Cook, until browned, breaking up beef with a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. Drain well.
  • Meanwhile, core each tomato to remove the stem. Slice off 1/4-inch of the top of each tomato. Using a sharp paring knife or a small serrated knife, cut around the inside of the tomato to loosen the seeds and inner tomato pieces.
  • While holding the tomato over a bowl, use a small spoon to scoop out the seeds and inner tomato flesh. Dice any large inner tomato pieces and reserve, along with the seeds and juice.
  • Add tomato sauce, cooked rice, taco seasoning, and any reserved tomato pieces and juice to the skillet. Stir to combine and continue to cook until juices begin to thicken, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Remove skillet from heat and cool filling slightly. Working with one tomato at a time, spoon beef filling into a tomato and mound carefully on top. Repeat with remaining tomatoes.
  • Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, scallions, and all your favorite toppings.

Notes

Toppings:
  • Scallions
  • Diced chilies
  • Avocado or guacamole
  • Shredded cheese or crumbled queso fresco
  • Sour cream or Mexican crema
  • Crumbled fritos or chicharrones
  • Corn salsa
Tips:
  • Use delicious tomatoes. Only make this recipe with tomatoes that you'd want to eat raw--leave the bland, pithy, store-bought tomatoes out of it. Those smaller, on-the-vine Campari tomatoes might be good candidates. 
  • Depending on the size and shape of the tomatoes you use, you may have to scale the recipe up to accommodate them and make a double batch. Luckily, that's easy to do and leftovers are always welcome.
  • Make ahead. The filling can be made ahead of time and rewarmed in a skillet or microwave. Stuff the tomatoes right before you plan to eat. 
Variations:
  • Make them Keto-friendly or even lower low-carb. Use another grain like quinoa or bulgur. Other healthy options include cauliflower rice, sweet potato rice, wild rice, or farro. 
  • Switch up the protein. Cook with ground turkey, chicken, chorizo, or a plant-based protein to make them vegetarian stuffed tomatoes. 
  • Add green chilies, mushrooms, or caramelized onions to the filling. It's also a great way to empty out the fridge! 

Nutrition

Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 99mg | Potassium: 594mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1575IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @CulinaryHill or tag #CulinaryHill!

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